OPINION   
Editor's Note
Roldan should not get off lightly
What's not to like about the current leadership in the Department of Labor and Employment in the Philippines?

Plenty, and the list keeps getting long.

Topping the list is long-standing problem with the illegal or grossly excessive fees collected from our migrant workers, the failure to act decisively on their complaints, the double-talk on the OEC, and many others.

But easily the most glaring was the recent decision by DoLE of meting the lightest punishment on former Labor Attache Manuel Roldan, despite his being practically indicted for gross civil service violations by both the Consulate and Congress investigators.

All that Roldan got was a one month's suspension from work with an option to pay a fine in lieu! Details...

Anak Araw
Door to door
Kung mayroong isang bagay na malapit sa puso ng mga OFW, ito ay ang door to door box. Bakit nga hindi: bawa't isang kahon ay bunga ng ilang buwang pagtitipid upang unti-unting makabili ng mga bagay na ipadadala sa kanilang mga mahal at mapuno ang kahon. Details...

Migrant's Forum
Buhay ng bagong saltang OFW
Pangingibang bansa ang aking tanging alam na paraan para makakaahon sa kahirapan at matugunan ang pang araw-araw na pangangailangan ng aking pamilya. Masakit para sa isang ina na katulad ko na makita ang aking anak na salat sa maraming bagay at hindi ko maibigay ang mga simpleng hiling nila: pagkain,laruan, bagong damit, at iba pa. Higit sa lahat, gusto kong makapag-ipon para sa kanilang pag aaral sa kolehiyo pagdating ng panahon. Dahil hindi ako nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral, nangangarap akong maiba ng landas ang aking mga anak upang mas masiguro ang kanilang kinabukasan. Bunsod ng mga pangap na ito kaya pinili ko ang panandaliang paglayo at paninilbihan sa ibang lahi at maging pag-aalaga ng ibang bata. Details...

BUHAY PINAY   
123, takbo!

See this month's stories...

NEWS FROM HOME   
Aquino stops random inspection of balikbayan boxes at Customs
It was a simple measure: open arriving Balikbayan boxes at random to plug the hole that allowed smugglers to cheat the Bureau of Customs of hundreds of millions of pesos in taxes.
See this month's stories...

COMMUNITY   
Hopes are high at CARD-OFW graduation
Testimonies during the graduation rites of Card-OFW Hongkong Foundation on Aug 23 at the Catholic Diocese Center on Caine Road brought an atmosphere of hope towards financial freedom.
See this month's stories...

SPORTS   
Fate A ends season with heartbreaking loss to SCAA
All-Filipina team Fate A bid goodbye on Aug 16 to this year's season of the Hong Kong women's softball league with an embarrassing 0-9 loss to SCAA-A Diamond at Tin Kwong Field.

The loss gave the Filipinas a 5-5 win-loss slate in the league, landing the team on sixth place in the standings, but team captain Don Gaborno said the squad was still assured of a slot in the A division next season, which kicks off in November.
See this month's stories...

PINOY JOKES   
Trabaho

See this month's stories...

Chinese Horoscope   
Ano ang hatid ng Setyembre sa iyo

See this month's stories...

Your Daily News   
  GMANews
  Phil. Daily Inquirer
  Manila Times

  May 2013 Hong Kong News   
Filipina appeals removal order to be with resident kid
A Filipina fighting to remain in Hong Kong to be with her underage daughter who holds permanent resident status here has elevated her battle to the Court of Appeal.

Milagros Tecson Comilang, a former domestic helper, has appealed a decision of the Court of First Instance rejecting her challenge to the Director of Immigration's repeated refusal to extend her permission to stay in the territory.

The Court of Appeal has reserved its judgment after hearing arguments on Apr. 16.

The lower court ruling, which was handed down in June last year, also denied Comilang's petition for a judicial review of the Commissioner of Registration's rejection of her application for a Hong Kong permanent identity card.

The outcome of the case could have serious implications for all Filipino children who have been granted right of abode, but whose parents do not share this status. Such is the case of about two dozen children of Filipino domestic workers who were granted permanent residency about three to four years ago.

At the appeal hearing, Comilang's counsel, Gladys Li, SC, described the legal proceeding before Justices Peter Cheung, Frank Stock and Joseph Paul Fok as a special case involving a child who is underage, a minority and who requires the constant presence of a parent.

Comilang first came to the city in 1997. Shortly after her last contract was terminated on July 13, 2005, she underwent an Islamic marriage with a certain Shaker Ahmed, a Hong Kong permanent resident. She subsequently applied for a change of her immigration status to remain in the city as a dependant of her husband.

Pending the processing of her application, the Director of Immigration did not extend Comilang's permission to stay, which expired on Oct. 10, 2005.

Then, in February 2006, the already overstaying Comilang gave birth to Zahrah Ahmed, who acquired permanent resident status through her father and by virtue of her being born in Hong Kong.

Ahmed, the husband, was subsequently discovered to be in a subsisting marriage at the time he married Comilang. He later withdrew his sponsorship of the Filipina's change of status application.

Since then, Comilang has resisted several orders for her leave so she could stay with her daughter, whom she wants to remain in the territory to enjoy her rights as a permanent resident. The child is a co-applicant in the case.

While recognizing the state's right to control who stays in Hong Kong, Li argued that the immigration department should allow a custodial parent the right to stay in the interest of the child.

The Court, warned Li, should consider the impact of their decision because, in compelling Comilang to leave, the child essentially loses her right of abode.

Li also questioned the fairness of allowing unmarried children below 18 years of age to be dependants of parents, and yet denying the same right to a resident child and her parent.

On the other hand, Anderson Shek, counsel for the Director of Immigration, wanted the Court to clarify what a child's right of abode entailed.

"To what extent can (the child's right of abode) be relied upon (by) the mother (who has) no right of abode?" asked Shek.

Foreign nationals are allowed to sponsor their relatives as dependants. In exceptional cases, the Director of Immigration also has the discretion to allow other foreign nationals to stay in Hong Kong on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

However, in the appealed 50-page judgment, Presiding Justice Johnson Lam had stated that the courts will not lightly interfere with the Director's exercise of discretion and that "humanitarian considerations are not reviewable in courts" (Lau Kong Yung vs Director Immigration [1999]).

Judge Lam also ruled that it was not necessary for the court to come to any conclusion on the impact of the refusal of Tecson's extension of stay on the future of Zahrah Ahmed.

He further rejected the argument that Comilang needed to leave Hong Kong with her daughter, simply because she had custody of the child.

"The Family Court has jurisdiction to reconsider the question of custody when (Comilang) has to leave Hong Kong. One option is to grant custody to the father. Another option is to grant leave to relocation. It is entirely a matter for the Family Court to decide in view of the prevailing circumstances and the best interest of the child," said Justice Lam.


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